“Then,” say they, “let those who are over us only prescribe to us what we ought to do, and pray for us that we may do it; but let them not rebuke and censure us if we should not do it.” Certainly let all be done, since the teachers of the churches, the apostles, were in the habit of doing all,—as well prescribing what things should be done, as rebuking if they were not done, and praying that they might be done. The apostle prescribes, saying, “Let all your things be done with love.” 3255 He rebukes, saying, “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye have judgments among yourselves. For why do ye not rather suffer wrong? Why are ye not rather defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong and defraud; and that, your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not possess the kingdom of God?” 3256 Let us hear him also praying: “And the Lord,” says he, “multiply you, and make you to abound in love one towards another and towards all men.” 3257 He prescribes, that love should be maintained; he rebukes, because love is not maintained; he prays, that love may abound. O man! learn by his precept what you ought to have; learn by his rebuke that it is by your own fault that you have it not; learn by his prayer whence you may receive what you desire to have.
1 Cor. vi. 7 et seq.473:3257
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